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Manka's Inverness Lodge Report

Lauren J. | Oct 11, 200304:30 PM

Just spent 3 days celebrating our anniversary at Manka's--time well-spent relaxing and savoring their very good food:

Weeknight Dinner (Tuesday)
The weather was nippy, so our small table near the fireplace in the darkened dining room was appreciated. A choice of small plates or tasting menu ($58). We started off with Bolinas bean soup and local speckled Romaine salad, both good. The entree, Duck Confit on grits with sauteed greens, was one of the best I've ever had--the duck was juicy, flavorful, falling off the bone and the grits, rich with butter & cream, warmed us nicely. Drank a good Pinot Noir made by a local winemaker.

Had the substantial Cook's Breakfast ($17) which on that day was fresh juice, a tiny but tasty waffle topped with whipped cream and strawberries, a small plate of Bob's corned beef hash topped with a poached egg followed by fresh local blackberries and mascarpone dusted with sugar. We washed it down with a huge bowl of latte--breakfast of champions!

Fixed-Price Dinner (Thursday) $58, more on week-end
Simple potato & leek soup
Super-light souffle w/ dill, topped with dice of house-cured salmon in sparkling wine sauce (wonderful)
Pork tenderloin, grilled in the fireplace AND pulled pork on toast au jus (tasty, but quirky in IMO, a lot of meat and nothing else on the plate, boring to eat & see that much meat alone)
Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk cheese on apple chutney with glazed walnuts (nice flavor combo)
Poached Quince and a wedge of ginger cake topped with poaching liquid and whipped cream (complex & rich, yet light)Wow!
Wine: a glass of Pt. Reyes sparkling and another good Pinot Noir garage wine (forgot the names).

The fixed price meal was memorable: the service was flawless and the ambiance warm and charming. As good as the food is, for the complete Manka's experience, try to stay overnight, especially in one of the cabins. But be prepared to shell out big bucks. Since this was a special occasion, we felt it was worth it.

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